With a steady rise in the number of daily commuters, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has also started generating surplus revenue from its service most of the days, according to KMRL managing director APM Mohammed Hanish. With this the Kochi Metro has become the second metro after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to register a profit from its daily operations.
"The operating profit has been approximately Rs 2 lakh since April on most days. We hope the figure will further increase when the metro touches Pettah in January," Hanish said, in a conversation with The Hindu.
According to data, provided by metro officials, the number of daily commuters at Kochi Metro has been rising from the last several days, with a record 95,285 passengers being served on last Saturday. It was the highest number of passengers since its commercial operation began in June 2017.
In view of its growing importance, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had last week inagurated the new stretch of Kochi Metro from Maharaja's College junction to Thykoodam. Vijayan, accompanied by Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and other dignitaries also took a ride on the first Metro train from Maharaja’s College junction to Kadavanthra station near the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety had granted sanction for the new stretch which has a total of five stations - Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila and Thykoodam. Foundation stones for constructing the Petta-SN Junction Section of Kochi Metro and for Kochi Water Metro Project to provide intermodal connectivity between jetties, bus terminals and metro rail were also laid on the occasion.
The first phase of Kochi Metro, which offers Rs 120 daily passes and Rs 250 weekend passes, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2017.